Terrorists Claim Four Iraqi Hostages

A branch of the group led by Iraq's most feared terrorist has announced in a video obtained Tuesday that it is holding four Iraqi National Guardsmen and that they will be punished.

In a video obtained by Associated Press Television News, the group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search) claimed to have captured the four after Sunday's elections. The four were shown wearing Iraqi National Guard uniforms.

APTN obtained the tape in the town of Latifiyah about 20 miles south of Baghdad (search). Its authenticity could not be independently confirmed, but Sunni Muslim terrorists are known to be active in area which is part of the so-called triangle of death (search).

A masked man reading from a paper in his right hand and holding a Kalashnikov in the other, said the "Battalions of Holy Jihad in Iraq" had captured "those traitors of the infidel guards who will get the punishment they deserve for their treason against their country and people."

"They participated in the elections farce and they are now at the disposal of leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. May God protect him," the militant said.